Fair trade means that producers in developing countries are getting a fair wage for their work. It is an approach to international development and business based on dialogue, transparency, and respect between farmers or artisans and those who sell their products in the first world. Fair trade businesses, which are accredited by various bodies and backed by conscious consumers, work to raise awareness and campaign for changes in conventional international trade.
More than just a trade partnership, fair trade addresses the hurdles that many producers face, offers support during production, and seeks to find consumers for their goods, so that it is the craftperson or coffee farmer who truly benefits from the sale. Fair trade products can be more expensive than their conventional counterparts because of the fair wage given to the producer, and it takes discerning consumers to make fair trade a working model.
The MZ brand was created in order to connect the talented Zapotec weavers with new markets as well as to share their craftsmanship with the world. We are accredited by the Fair Trade Federation and our goal for growth is to be able to offer work to more artisans to help them improve their lives and communities, one weaving at a time.
As members of the FTF we fully support the values of fair trade:
Trade as a Force for Positive Change
We value trading relationships that distribute power, risks and rewards more equitably. We believe that trade should be used as a tool to help alleviate poverty, reduce inequality, and create opportunities for people to help themselves. Trade should promote fair compensation, safe and healthy conditions, direct and long-term relationships, transparent business practices, and workplaces free from discrimination and forced child labor. When trade encompasses these practices, the lives of all people and their communities improve.
We celebrate the contribution and value of all people in the supply chain and recognize the dignity of each person and organization in our interactions and relationships. We believe that people have a right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives based on open sharing of information.
We value communities grounded in trust, moral support, cooperation, and a sense of belonging, making us stronger individually and as a whole. We value the global fair trade movement, recognizing that we are intrinsically interdependent, and believe that our unified voices convey a powerful message.
We value continuous improvement and application of economic, social, cultural, and environmentally sustainable practices. We embrace the United Nations’ definition of sustainability “to meet the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
We believe that credibility comes from demonstrating, through open and transparent interactions, the promises we make. We have a responsibility to maintain the highest standards and expectations of ourselves; and, we value organizations that aspire to fully embrace fair trade principles.
We value the impact that comes from empowering consumers with knowledge. We believe that when people understand that trade can be a force for positive change they will use their purchasing power to improve the lives of people and communities.